This story has been updated to include comment from Hawaiian Gardens Hospital.
City Attorney Mike Feuer has filed a lawsuit against Gardens Regional Hospital and Medical Center Inc. for alleged patient dumping on Skid Row.
The civil action claims the Hawaiian Gardens hospital dumped a schizophrenic homeless patient in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles and failed to provide proper discharge protocols for the same person on multiple occasions.
Feuer’s office alleges that a 38-year-old woman with a history of mental and physical health problems was dropped off in front of the Union Rescue Mission in the heart of Skid Row. She was delivered by a hospital van bearing the name Tri-City Regional Medical Center, Gardens Regional’s former name. The patient allegedly was dressed in paper hospital tops and bottoms, had no money, identification or medication and no arrangements for shelter. As a result the victim allegedly wandered aimlessly before finding assistance.
The lawsuit claims Gardens Regional had discharged the Medi-Cal patient on at least five occasions between December 2013 and September 2014 with little to no plan or instructions for future care.
“Patient dumping is unconscionable and will not be tolerated in this city," said Feuer in a statement. "We're continuing to do everything we can to stop it. Every patient, regardless of housing status, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect when he or she is discharged."
In a statement, Gardens Regional denied the charges, saying it was “appalled by the baseless, false and misleading allegations.” It called the suit an “over‐reaching action” against a medical center located in another city.
Feuer is seeking an injunction against the hospital, its officers, directors and employees, prohibiting them from failing to provide proper discharge and aftercare plans for patients and transporting and abandoning patients in their care. The hospital could also face additional civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation.
The City Attorney’s office settled similar patient dumping cases last year against Glendale Adventist, Beverly Community Hospital Association and Pacifica Hospital.